Liberalism is neither the progressive politics of the American left, nor the center-right orientation of European parties like the German Free Democrats, nor libertarianism built around hostility to the state. In this special episode, Francis Fukuyama explains his use of the term and discusses his latest book, Liberalism and Its Discontents.
The book focuses on doctrine that first emerged in the middle of the 17th century that prized individuals over collectivities, accorded equal dignity to all human beings, was allied to modern natural science, and protected a sphere of individual autonomy through a rule of law and constitutional checks and balances. Liberalism is a close ally of democracy but not the same thing as it, and today is under severe threat from critics on both the right and the left.
Click here to purchase Liberalism and Its Discontents.
Democracy IRL is produced by the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL), part of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) at Stanford University.
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